We’re all spending more time in the kitchen these days. But sometimes, you just need a break from cooking (and the cleanup that comes with it). That’s when you pull out your trusty cheese board, the blank slate for quick, colorful, and healthy meals—no cooking required.
These are some of our favorite ways to incorporate delicious, nutrient-dense cheeses into your routine, whether you’re feeding yourself, making your stay-at-home date night extra-special, or getting a quick dinner on the table for the whole family, no matter where your groceries are coming from these days.
Cheese Board for One: The Perfect Work-From-Home Lunch
- 2 to 4 ounces of cheese (1/8 to 1/4 pound), go lighter on the cheese if you're heavier on the accompaniments, and vice versa
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to skip lunch altogether—or end up eating hurriedly at your desk the same way you would if you were at the office. Taking a real break and giving yourself the time away from work to eat lunch is a common tip from longtime remote workers, and one of the easiest ways to do that is with a quick, simple cheese board.
From our makers: Hit up our online store and pamper yourself with a wedge of lush, buttery Trillium from Indiana’s Tulip Tree Creamery, a dollop of Meyer lemon marmalade or sour cherry preserves, toasted walnuts, and slices of baguette. Want to meet new cheeses on the regs? Sign up for our new Monthly Cheese Subscription, which highlights one to three varieties of cheese—ranging from lush bloomy rinds to peppery blues—sourced from a different domestic maker, complete with pairing ideas, every month.
From your local cheese shop: Place an order with your favorite monger for a nutty wedge of Comté, a few thin slices of dry-cured ham, and zingy whole-grain mustard on deep, dark rye bread.
From the supermarket: Pick up a round of tangy fresh chevre, a few dollops of ruby-hued pepper jelly, and a stack of crisp rosemary flatbread crackers, with a Cara Cara orange or a few clementines on the side.
From your pantry: Grab the hunk of sharp cheddar you keep on hand for snacking and sandwiches, the jar of garlic dills at the back of your fridge, some Triscuits from the cabinet, and an apple from the fruit bowl.
Cheese Board for Two: Date Night In
- 4 to 8 ounces of cheese (1/4 pound to 1/2 pound), go lighter on the cheese if you're heavier on the accompaniments, and vice versa
One of the best parts of going out to dinner is skipping the prep and the cleanup while enjoying a fantastic meal. A bountiful cheese board is the next best thing when you’re trying to have a relaxing date night dinner at home—minus the stress and the mess.
From our makers: Pick up a package from one of our new cheesemakers, like this stellar variety pack from Minnesota’s Redhead Creamery or this bundle of aged sheep’s milk wedges from Vermont Shepherd. Stash them in your Grotto until date night, then turn its shelves into beautiful boards decked with candied nuts, tart pickles, savory crackers, and sliced saucisson sec. (Or take some decadent inspiration from our Valentine’s Day cheese, wine, and chocolate board.)
From your local cheese shop: Choose a mix of wedges—for example, fudgy, toffeelike Brabander, a lush triple-creme like Mt. Tam, and a bold, funky washed rind such as Red Hawk. Dress up the board with accompaniments like marcona almonds, Castelvetrano olives, some Raincoast crisps (we like cranberry hazelnut), and a slab of sweet, sticky date walnut cake or jar of champagne jelly.
From the supermarket: Make it a fondue night! (OK, technically fondue is cooked, but it’s part of the fun rather than a prelude to it.) Pick up two parts Gruyere to one part Emmental, a bottle of white wine, and a loaf of French bread and you’re on your way (we like this classic fondue recipe). Accessorize with cornichons, fresh grapes, slices of Pink Lady apple, and a green salad on the side.
From your pantry: Pull a few diverse wedges from your cheese drawer—maybe a heel of aged Gouda, a hunk of dense, crumbly blue, and a tub of fromage blanc. For fruit, choose a mix of sweet (dried apple, blueberry jam) and tart (dried California apricots, candied pineapple) options. Add veggies, whether snap peas or slices of watermelon radish. Slice some of that sourdough bread you’ve been perfecting round things out, along with any other odds and ends you’d like to play with—cured meat, olives, microgreens. For dessert, add ginger snaps or squares of dark chocolate.
Cheese Board for Four: A No-Cook Meal for Any Night of the Week
- 8 to 16 ounces of cheese (1/2 pound to 1 pound), go lighter on the cheese if you're heavier on the accompaniments, and vice versa
Even though we’re staying home, life can still be hectic, and getting dinner on the table after a long day of working and keeping the kids entertained can feel like a chore. Give yourself a break from the stove with a spread of cheese, veggies, and other nibbles, and the whole family can pick and choose what they like.
From our makers: With a mix of sharp cheddar, pillowy bloomy rind, and beer-curd cheeses, this set of three cow’s milk varieties from Lively Run offers familiar and unexpected flavors for developing palates and gourmet grownups alike. Try this mix with rice crackers, dilly beans, and fresh berries.
From your local cheese shop: Pick up some family-friendly favorites like fresh mozzarella, creamy young Gouda, and clothbound cheddar to go along with accompaniments like tomato jam, spicy mustard, and apple butter. Or, if you’re pre-ordering online, get the kids to help you pick out the cheeses and pairing items they’d like to try.
From the supermarket: We love a mezze-inspired cheese board for everyone to dig into. Hummus and pita, roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts, whatever raw veggies you have on hand (cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, romaine leaves, cauliflower florets), plus slabs of Bulgarian feta, topped with grassy olive oil and sea salt.
From your pantry: There are no wrong answers here. Pull the snacks, nuts, crackers, and dried fruit out of your cabinets, dig out all your condiments and cheeses, and see what matches up. It’s a great way to clean out the fridge and get everyone fed with a minimum of fuss. And hey, maybe you’ll discover a new favorite pairing you wouldn’t have tried before, like sardines and ricotta, BBQ chips with Idiazabal, or blue cheese and Nutella.